Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz as GOP nominee, says only he can unite party

Republican candidates during a presidential debate in Greenville, South Carolina, February 13, 2016.

Republican candidates during a presidential debate in Greenville, South Carolina, February 13, 2016.  (getty)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush endorsed his one-time rival Senator Ted Cruz Tuesday with a Facebook post stating that the Texas lawmaker is a "principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests."

Bush's endorsement comes two months after he dropped out of the presidential race on February 20th following a big loss in South Carolina. Since then, Bush chose not to endorse his mentee and friend Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who abandoned the race following his loss to Donald Trump in his home state last week.

Bush said he is supporting Cruz because he believes he's the best chance to defeat Trump, and eventually, the potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. This point has consistently been reiterated by Cruz, who insists Governor John Kasich should drop out of the race because he remains as the only viable option with the ability to stop a Trump nomination.

"For the sake of our party and country, we must overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee, most likely Hillary Clinton, this fall," Bush wrote on Facebook.

"That is the only way we can reverse President Obama’s failed domestic and foreign policy agenda, and turn our country around. Republicans can win back the White House and put our nation on a path to security and prosperity if we support a nominee who can unite our party and articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential."

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On Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, Cruz said Jeb's support represents the wide constituency of Republicans that support his campaign — from Mitt Romney to other former political rivals Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina.

"I'm truly honored to earn Governor Jeb Bush's support," said Cruz in a statement. "His endorsement today is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, take back the White House, and ensure a freer and more prosperous America for future generations."

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